SWR meter in line questions

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N2BRI

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I check my SWR every few months on my dual band transceiver to make sure everything is good does anyone recommend leaving a meter in line and if so what is a good meter that's not too expensive that would look good sitting on my desk? Or is checking it every so often good enough Thank you

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mmckenna

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what is a good meter that's not too expensive that would look good sitting on my desk?
Find a used Bird 43 on e-Bay. They are nearly indestructible and easily rebuilt. They'll look better than anything else out there, and you'll have a trustworthy meter. Much better than some low buck plastic amateur/consumer meter.



Or is checking it every so often good enough
Unless you suspect and issue or your antenna/feedline is subject to damage, occasional testing is all that's needed.
I check mine once a year or so.
 

jonwienke

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Adding a meter inline causes some insertion loss, Occasional checks are good, especially if something has happened to your antenna setup (high winds, hailstorm, etc), but there's no real reason to leave the meter inline all the time.
 

AZDon

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SWR Meter

Bird Watt meters are the best because their percentage of error is very low, if I recall its 10% or less. However once you obtain the power forward reading you have to unkey your mic, rotate the slug in the front of the watt meter then transmit again to read the power reflected spec then compute your SWR. When used continuosly attached to a rig most guys just keep it on reflected power mode because most transmitters have a transmit power forward meter built into them. An increase in reflected power is easily noticble.

These days I use a Daiwa hf watt meter with a VHF/UHF converter. Two things I like about the Daiwa's is that they can be illuminated and are very easy to read. To obtain the SWR you simply transmit and obtain the power forward and the power reflected readings simultaneously via two needles that over lap to indicate the SWR. Believe Daiw's are rated at 20% or less. For amateur daily monitoring I would use a Daiwa, though delicate they are very easy to use and I don't own a Bird.

Berfore I retired I used a Bird watt meter everyday for years, they are durable, accurate and reliable. For commercial installations and preventative maintenance I would use a Bird watt meter. I once compared the Birds and the Daiwa's watt meters, they provided identical readings.
 
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Bird and Telewave meters are accurate to within 10% of the slug/range selection limits. So for working on a 5W HT you need a 10W slug, not just a 5W. So for a 50W radio, you need a 100W slug to truly be accurate.

Bird makes a station thruline meter that is meant to be left in place. Never seen them in use but I did about 6 at the Belton Ham Expo a few weeks ago.


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05WideGuy

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Anyone use the Diamond SX-600? I have it on my wish list because it has two connectors one for 2/70 and one for HF.
 
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